My granny helped raise me; she lived in our house and spent the day watching me while my mama worked. Granny was born in the early 1900’s and spent her formative years on a little plot of land in the mountains outside of Asheville. She had memories of playing in the big kitchen of Biltmore House, while her dad sold or traded with the servants (there may have been illegal hooch involved).

author jordan l hawk, biltmore, m/m paranormal romance, gay romance, history, hainted
How the other half lived.

She moved to New York when a young woman (illegal hooch may again have been involved—it was Prohibition, after all!), where she married, then quickly divorced. After the Depression began, she came home and married a traveling shoe salesman from West Virginia (my grandfather, who died before I was born).

author jordan l hawk, biltmore, m/m paranormal romance, gay romance, history, hainted
Now this is more my family’s speed.

She raised me up on stories of haints and witches, told me how to summon my true love with a silver knife in the light of a full moon, and cooked collard greens and black-eyed peas for luck every New Year’s Day.

She passed on nineteen years ago this week. I’ve forgotten too much of the mountain magic and folklore she related, and I wish I’d had the chance to ask about her adventures in New York as an adult, when she might have told me some of the things I’m sure she edited out when I was a kid. I thought about her a lot while writing Hainted, and I hope I did justice to what she taught me.

What about you? Are there any friends or relatives you’ve been thinking about lately? Or do you have a funny/interesting story about grandparents? Share it with me in the comments!

Posted July 11, 2012 by jordan in life / 6 Comments

6 responses to “Granny

  1. Our grandparents can bequeath a rich legacy to us. Both of my grandmothers were born and grew up in the mountains of north Georgia, and I have memories of haints and other mountain tales they told me. Many of the beliefs they passed on to me have found their way into my stories. For instance, one of my characters, Cotton Chastain, has the gift of Sight. And I’m finding bits of the stories one grandmother told me about our Cherokee ancestors in my historical series.

    Thanks for sharing your memories of your grandmother.

    • jordan

      Thanks for commenting, TommieLyn. I love working the lore into stories; I think it gives them a certain richness. Unsurprisingly, given the area, I also have Cherokee ancestor, but she was too far back for anything to come down to us other than her name.

  2. Awesome post, as someone who loves history I enjoy hearing the stories of those who lived it. I still remember when my Grandpa would tell stories of his time in WWII and how it would make me smile to know I knew him. My other grandparents have been farmers all their lives and have shown me the value of hard work. Grandparents can teach us many things.

    Thanks for making me think back this morning. Great post.

    • jordan

      Thanks, Gilliad. My other grandparents all died before I was born, so I missed out on the stories my paternal grandfather might have told; he was a gravedigger/cemetery caretaker, so I imagine he had some doozies!

  3. We were talking about my grandmother this week, because she loved coming over to watch fireworks each fourth. I have posted several of her recipes on my website. We lived pretty close and I used to seek refuge at her house when my brothers teasing got to be too much. My other grandmother lived in the next town over in a log cabin. 🙂

    • jordan

      Log cabins are awesome! Well, if they have indoor plumbing, etc. My husband’s grandmother lived in a house with no plumbing or electricity. He hated going over there as a kid because it meant using the outhouse!